In my local area (Washington/Baltimore), hobbyist “radio controlled aircraft” already require a license before they can legally be flown. At first reading, it looks like the new rules will dramatically increase entry cost for the hobbyist. This will tend to depress the current manufacturer’s market, at least until they can provide the upgrades that will conform to the new rules.
This is quite interesting.
And it comes along with the notice of the Google auto-pilot car. Does this means that the future will hold automatic pilot for cars and planes?
Software will reach new heights of safety. Indeed this appears to be the start of a whole new market and the way a lot of things are done. I imagine pizza being delivered by a drone! Yikes! :)
NASA said Thursday (March 29) that it will be conducting very low level training and "photographic" flights over the Washington area on April 5. Airspace over the national capital is highly restricted, hence the NASA announcement that it was conducting the flights in conjunction with the FAA. T-38 jets will fly as low as 1,500 feet over the Washington area, NASA said, adding that the "flights are intended to capture photographic imagery." Given the start of safety testing for commercial drones, we have contacted NASA to find out if these flights have anything to do the FAA/NASA testing program for commercial drones. If we get a response, we'll pass it along.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.